DWP tell me ‘I’m not entitled to a break from Universal Credit’ when son has surgery

The Department for Work and Pensions have this week told me that despite my six-month-old son having major surgery in October, I must still search and be available for work.



The Department for Work and Pensions – DWP have this week told me that despite my youngest son having major surgery on his skull, I must still be available to work and must still carry out 35 hours of searching per week.

I had asked in my Universal Credit Journal if there was any evidence I needed to submit to get a week dispensation from having to look for work. This is because I will have my three-year-old son while my youngest is 200 miles away in hospital having his skull remodelled.

I thought that this was a reasonable request to make if I’m honest. Maybe I am wrong?

Anyway what I didn’t expect was for them to come back and say as; I’m not the resident parent, I’m not entitled to such a break and will be expected to be keep to my commitments.

I must admit it did knock my confidence somewhat. That is why I didn’t write anything on here for a nearly a week.

But I can’t let it get me down. I won’t be doing it as I won’t have time. My other son requires a carer so I will not bust myself stressing about those callous lot while I have much more important things on my mind.

Other news

I today got a letter from the DWP saying that they have received the report from my Personal Independence Payment – PIP assessor, and will make a decision soon. This is also piling on the stress as if I’m not awarded it I will lose my motability car and thus my only means of transport.

It must be remembered I’m 15 miles from, well anything. There is no accessible bus service and no way can I afford a taxi. I am trying to remain positive but the way things have been going it can be difficult.

I’ve been pretty downbeat this week and stayed in bed mostly. I have my sons for the weekend so that has cheered me right up.

I want to thank everyone for the support and kind wishes and I look forward to getting back writing regularly now.

My tribunal for Universal Credit looks to be months and months away as I’m not even on the list yet. I keep phoning them but understandably they are under intnense pressure themselves due to the DWP’s failings.


Just before I go I need your help. Foodbanks across the UK have been hit by what’s called holiday hunger. Schools have been breaking up and with the loss of free school meals more and more parents have been forced to go to a foodbank.

Right here where I live, my local foodbank; Highland Foodbank run by christian charity Blyswood has put out an appeal which has even reached BBC News. They are literally close to having nothing. They actually run five separate foodbanks across the area and some of their area storage spaces are bare.

I understand it’s a lot to ask but if you can spare anything for either them or your own local one, please don’t delay in donating. There are so many that are close to shutting down I can’t name them all.

I want to reiterate I do not like the need for foodbanks but, in the short term I’d rather people were fed.

Until the next time, stay safe and have a good weekend.

Alex Tiffin

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